While Caeleb Dressel did not give his rivals a chance in the final of the 50m freestyle, Florent Manaudou resisted to win the silver medal. His third consecutive Olympic medal at this distance.
Swimming brings the 20th medal to the French Olympic team! On the occasion of the last day of competition in the pool of the Tokyo Aquatic Center, Florent Manaudou was present at the rendezvous of the final of the 50m freestyle. Returned to swimming two years ago after a parenthesis in handball, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2016 Olympic runner-up went for this third consecutive medal over the distance which was his source of motivation. If Caeleb Dressel was untouchable, beating Cesar Cielo’s Olympic record in 21”07, to go for his fourth title in the Japanese capital, Florent Manaudou did better than resist to go for the silver medal (21 ”55) while Bruno Fratus completed the podium two hundredths behind the Frenchman (21”57).
“I dreamed of having a medal, the third in a row in the 50m freestyle. I stopped, I came back. It was a difficult year in terms of qualifying, it was complicated. It proves that sometimes you don’t have to worry and just swim. The body knows how to do, Florent Manaudou told the microphone of France Televisions. I think of all the people I’ve been boring with because I kept talking about swimming being negative for many months. I am happy ! Four Olympic medals, that’s cool! I’m proud of myself, proud to have won a medal but it’s much more than that. I wanted to have fun after Rio, I played handball. I’ve been criticized a lot because it’s the game. But I’m proving that, perhaps, training is important but you also have to have fun in life. I am happy to be doing these Games. I wanted to have fun. It was played out very little, I have long arms. “
But happiness did not come alone for Florent Manaudou! In the wake of her 50m freestyle final, her companion Pernille Blume also went for a medal over the same distance in the women’s final. After the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle, Emma McKeon confirmed her dominance in this stroke by winning the 50m with the added bonus of improving her own Olympic record in 21”81. World record holder Sarah Sjöström won the silver medal (24”07) ahead of Pernille Blume, who was the defending champion (24”21).
“I was stressing more for her than for myself and I think it was very difficult to manage to have the final ten minutes after mine, entrusted Florent Manaudou to the microphone of France Televisions after the final of his companion. I was first so I knew I was going to watch his final from the edge of the pool. “ Pernille Blume, for her part, said she was “more proud of himself” than of herself after her second consecutive Olympic medal over the distance. In the men’s 1500m freestyle, Robert Finke brought a new title to the United States (14’39”65) after a good fight with the Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk (14’40”66) and the German Florian Wellbrock (14’40”91).